How to rent a home with bad credit

how to rent a home with bad credit

Having a poor credit score can make a lot of life events more difficult. For example, it may not be as easy to get a home loan, an auto loan, or even a credit card. Renting an apartment is no exception to this. If you’re wondering how to rent a home with bad credit, you’ve come to the right place. 

Is It Possible To Rent a Home With Bad Credit?

It’s a common practice for landlords to check applicants’ credit scores. This helps them to determine whether you’re a trustworthy tenant. It shows them whether or not you make payments on time. It also shows them if you’ve ever been evicted in the past. 

This is something you’ll have to work around if you have bad credit. Luckily, there are ways to get an apartment or rent a home even if your credit score is poor. 

You will likely have to do some extra work and research to find a landlord that’s willing to rent to you. But in the end it will be worth it if you can get that apartment or home you’ve been hoping for

Steps for Finding a Home To Rent With Bad Credit

There are a few things you should do to prepare for your apartment search. Knowing what to expect, and having all of your information together beforehand can help you find the right landlord and apartment for you. 

Step 1: Check Your Credit Score and Report

This is the first step in your rental journey. Knowing what your credit score is, and what’s listed on your report can help you prepare for your search. Being able to explain things to the landlord and provide context will be important. And you’ll know what the landlord is going to see when they pull these reports.1 

Step 2: Keep Detailed Records

If you have a detailed record of previous rent and utility payments this may help to show your potential new landlord that you’re trustworthy despite your score. Consider using a previous landlord as a reference, pulling up your bank account records, and having your proof of income ready. 

Step 3: Offer To Pay More Up Front

If the landlord still isn’t convinced, you could save up enough money to make a larger security deposit than what they’re asking for. Consider saving enough for a security deposit plus a couple of months’ worth of rent as well.1 

Step 4: Get a Cosigner

A cosigner is a third party with good credit that signs up to take responsibility for the payments if you fail to pay. This is often a close friend or family member because it’s a big responsibility. If you have someone who’s willing to sign on as a cosigner, it’s a good way to make the landlord feel more secure.1

No Credit Check Apartment Rentals

Because some landlords operate on their own, independent of large companies or corporations, you can often negotiate with them. If the landlord is simply an individual who owns a property, then you may be able to convince them that you’re able to make the payments without a credit check. 

But realistically, are there landlords who won’t run credit checks? There may be. It all depends on the specific landlord. You may be able to find one that does no credit checks. But they will still likely need to confirm your trustworthiness. They may do this with bank statements, proof of income, and references. So be sure to have these things ready. 

Finding the right apartment or home can be a stressful process on its own, even without having poor credit. Follow the steps above and eventually, you’ll find the best landlord and apartment for your situation. 

Learn more about the cost of bad credit, in the CreditNinja Dojo!


  1. Renting a Home With Bad Credit | Equifax
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